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H Is For Hawk - Helen Macdonald



Publisher: Vintage Publishing

H Is For Hawk

H is for Hawk
Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and the 2014 Costa Book of the Year, this book is about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.

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'To train a hawk you must watch it like a hawk, and so gain the ability to predict what it will do next. Eventually you don't see the hawk's body language at all. You seem to feel what it feels. The hawk's apprehension becomes your own. As the days passed and I put myself in the hawk's wild mind to tame her, my humanity was burning away.' Destined to be a classic of nature writing, H is for Hawk is a record of a spiritual journey - an unflinchingly honest account of Macdonald's struggle with grief during the difficult process of the hawk's taming and her own untaming. At the same time, it's a kaleidoscopic biography of the brilliant and troubled novelist T. H. White, best known for The Once and Future King. It's a book about memory, nature and nation, and how it might be possible to try to reconcile death with life and love.

Vintage Publishing


Number of Pages 320


matches her factual know-how...with her poet's eye, it is excellent... An exceptional book of twisted growth." -- Tim Dee National "Absorbing... This memoir is lit with flashes of that grace, a grace that sweeps down to the reader to hold her wrist tight with beautiful, terrible class. The discovery of the season." -- Erica Wagner The Economist "Astounding." Bookseller "People talk about books that change your life. I loved the fact that this book does something much more valuable. It doesn't change anything. It leaves everything just where it was, only more so; more distinct, more itself. It opens your eyes. And it deepens what we have always known; that we live side by side with each other, as we do with the creatures around us." -- Laura Beatty Caught by the River "A talon-sharp memoir that will thrill and chill you to the bone... Fascinating." -- Craig Brown Mail on Sunday "Mesmerising, decisive and devastating... Her description of Mabel in flight should be etched into every birdwatcher's field guide... Macdonald is a nature writer supreme, arguably the best practitioner of this art form writing today." -- Stuart Winter Sunday Express "A soaring triumph." -- Christian House Daily Telegraph "Beautiful." Sport "Strange yet compelling... Macdonald's poetic prose soars... An uplifting message that...sends the heart soaring." -- Gerard Henderson Daily Express "Vivid and fascinating." -- James Attlee Independent "Soars beyond genres, and burns with emotional and intellectual intensity." Nature "We can't recommend this strange, clever, beautiful book highly enough." -- Jarrold's Bookshop Eastern Daily Press "A soliloquy that sings from the pages. Truly beautiful." -- Rufus the Hawk Twitter "Heartbreaking." Grazia "In fifty years time - a hundred - H is for Hawk will still defy easy definition. Readers will see wildness a little differently and they will still finish with a silent cheer for a fellow human starting to re-engage with the world. File under classic." -- Nigel Roby We Love This Book "Poetic, imaginative and richly persuasive prose. Macdonald's sensitivity to English weather, landscape and natural habitat is extraordinary; she is a word-painter of the subtlest palette and an audio recorder of peerless quality." Book Oxygen "Macdonald makes nature writing new." For Books Sake